tv [untitled] June 15, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
little about some of what i hope are relatively creative ways we're thinking about it at the department of defense. so if i could have the first image. this is libya. which many of the people in this room were involved in. i would offer this as an example of attempting to do humanitarian trending toward development in a zone of actual open well known conflict. very, very difficult. as many of the prags tish nevers here know, we saw about one million refugees in this situation, in camps in tunis, egypt, nyjer, malawi and heading toward spain as well as france and grease. about one person in libya become as refugee, is in need of military asus stns and yet we're in the midst of a veryive combat
campaign, very difficult. this, of course, is afghanistan, which is very much a place where i am engaged today, or we have the nato alliance, 28 nations as well as 22 other nations with troops on the ground and a total of 70 nations who are engaged in one level or another with development. here we see not only the complexity of the desperate needs of development, but we also see a very virulent insurgency compounded by this image, which, of course, is poppy. this is narcotics. so we add to this mix of challenges yet another dimension that we saw, for example, as well in colombia. so i offer these three images to sort of set the stage for what we all know, which is the extraordinary difficulty of doing the strategic mission of development that you are executing with the tactical work that we're trying to do to
create some level of security so you can do your work. and your work is what in the end will determine success or failure in these places. and we get that. we want to support you. and if there's a single message i have for you today, it's the importance of defense as trying to support development and diplomacy where we can. next, please. so i also think a lot about these two images, upper left are young boys and girls who are receiving aid. bottom right is a child soldier. this is a supply chain that we cannot allow to connect both from a security perspective, from a humanitarian perspective, from a social logical development perspective.
our goal is to support your efforts to make sure those two images don't connect. and we heard a lot from the heads of state and government about the youth and the importance of youth. and i would underline it with this particular image. so, next, please. what are we trying to do about it? let me give you some ideas that we're working on in the department of the defense. and the first one may or may not surprise you a bit. it's the idea of studying and learning languages and understanding the culture of these places in which we go to work. we take our example in this regard from a.i.d., from the department of state, from our diplomats and our developers. we're not very good at this in the department of defense. only 8% of the department of defense speaks a second language, for example. i've chosen to put here the rosetta stone. we are working hard on this. we want to increase our ability to understand and to be able to
communicate both directly and also to understand the culture, the history, the literature, all of the salient aspects of the cultures because if we can do that, then we can far more effectively support you in your work. next, please. we're also doing some fairly creative things as we work with local security forces. now these are afghan soldiers. and you should look at this photograph and you should say, wilter well, that's an odd photo because they're all holding boo books. and if you know anything about afghanistan you know that sadly the literacy rate in this demographic, 20 to 30, is very low. it's only about 15% to 20% because the taliban withheld education throughout this demographic's opportunity to learn. so you should say, so why are afghan soldiers all holding books? and the answer is because we are teaching them to read.
we nato, we the nato training mission in afghanistan. we've taught 200,000 afghan soldiers and policemen to read. now they're not going to go write a novel like marcel prust. but they are functionally literate. they are hungry for this knowledge. when you are a man or a woman in afghanistan and you can read, you put a pen in your pocket. and when the graduates of the r50 r50 r50eding reading course, again, 200,000 so far about 70,000 in classes now, when they graduate, we give them a pen to put in their pocket. that is an extraordinary moment to watch a young afghan man or woman take that pen as a symbol
of literacy. we are also teaching them to fight. that's our job, but we have to take a broader more comprehensive approach to try and create security and this is an example of it. next, please. another way in which our security sector is trying to be helpful through diplomacy and development is the use of hospital ships. i can talk quite a long time about this. this was from my three years of the commander of southern command. i was stationed in miami, and i was focused on military-to-military relations throughout latin america and the caribbean. comfort sails around the caribbean and the pacific. she does patient treatments. about 400,000 every time she goes on a voyage. we coordinate all this. we work very hard to support the a.i.d. programs. we work very hard to support state department programs. this young boy was photographed in nicaragua in a town, anybody remember that from the 1980s? now it's an american hospital ship.
daniel ortega said the americans come now with ships of peace. now that's an extraordinary statement from a latin american leader, particularly in nicaragua. this young boy came with his mother. they walked three days to come to an eye clinic. he was very nearsighted. they put the vision goggles on him, and for the first time he looked around and he said, mama, i see the world. that delivers security. now that's a terrific story about a real human moment, but in the end, it has a pragmatic effect, which is to help deliver security by demonstrating compassion and competence along with the capability to conduct more traditional military operations. next, please. and this is a view of the world according to twitter. now, if you look closely, you
will see purple lines, which are tweets. the density, the darker the purple, you'll see green lines which are geo locations of twitter users. the white is the synthesis of those two. it is, in effect, the points of intersection between the social network and the physical world. i show it to you, first of all, it's an interesting way to look at the world and regions that are developed in this sense and less developed, and i would make the point that from a military perspective in areas that are less developed, we can help, we can support through infrastructure, logistics, information. we have the ability to reach into those spaces. and, secondly, all of us as we work together on development, diplomacy, and defense, we need
to be in these social networks. it's terrific to publish articles in "the journal of nobody actually reads it." and i've published a few of those. but to exist, to move a message in the world today you have to be in these social networks. largest nations in the world, china, india, facebook, the united states, twitter, indonesia. so we need to move better and connect in this world as well, and we're trying to do that in partnership with all of you. next, please. so this is a busy slide and i'm not going to dwell on it, but it wraps up this approach that i'm discussing, which is if you look on the outside, of course, this slide is geared to afghanistan. if you look on the outside, you see the flags of the nations that are represented there today, doing development, defense, and diplomacy in afternoon. inside that you see the logos of international organizations that
are engaged. appropriately at the top the united nations, european union, you see nato over there. you see then the interagencies, the cabinet-level organizations like a.i.d. and others that are doing such extraordinary work there, and you see the private sector. i would argue that we've kind of got it on international. we understand interagency. the big thing we have to be working -- and, again, we heard a lot of it from the heads of state and government here. i see it all the time with the way raj is moving a.i.d. it's private/public. it's making that connection. we're working on our approach to that in ways that we hope will be supportive of what is done by you in the lead, in the development community. we have a name for this. we call this the comprehensive approach. it's a doctrinal term today in nato. it simply means, international,
interagency, pub private/public, bringing it together. next, please. so that's the idea. this is the image we want to create. we don't always succeed. we fail. we cause civilian casualties. we are reducing those radically today in afghanistan. and yet we just had a terrible incident last week. but civilian casualties in the first four months of this year are down almost 50%. those caused by the coalition. 85% of the civilian casualties are caused by the insurgency. only 15%. one is too many. this, again, is the picture we strive for. we don't always achieve it. but in the end, we can achieve this if we lend our support to the efforts of the development community. we really believe that and understand it. next, please. so last image, you know, life is
not an on-and-off switch. i think we all know this. you know this in your own lives. you have to dial it in a little bit. i would argue that your military, your defense establishment is not an on-and-off switch. what i mean by that is we don't simply go into barracks or go off and do all out combat. we have a lot of capability that's in the middle and logistics and information in medical, in all the things i've talked about. and we can talk about on the panel. so i think the idea is not hard power or just soft power. it's finding that dial and setting it right so that we can support the development community as you do in the end what will cause the strategic success, that will move us forward as a planet, and that, i think, is your charge and our job is to try and support you
admiral stavri di is, who we just heard from. to my left -- and these are spatial designations and nothing more -- to my left gail smith special assistant to the president and senior director at the nsc. and director of partners for democratic change in yemen. stavridis and johanna mendelson former senior associate at the center for strategic and international studies. admiral stavridis, i loved that picture of the hospital ship. in corinne toe because in the 1980s, we were mining core intoe harbor, and now we're sending hospital ships there, and it was a lovely distillation of change that we've asked our military to make in the post-cold war generation. have you had to take on skills as a fighting force that really you weren't taught much about in
academy? >> that's exactly right, ray. i think the force has adapted fairly well to this. we are always working hard to try and improve our ability to work across the spectrum of activity from, as we talked about on that last slide -- from the hospital ship, which is sort of a pure example of soft power to our occasional and, let's fats, significant role in combat. the key is being able to move across the spectrum and take on intelligence information, security, logistics, the medical piece we talked about. another thing militaries can do and be very helpful is communications. is setting up in these forward areas as we looked at the twitter map of the world in some of the spaces where the c 2 doesn't exist we're fairly good
and moving in and providing that early on. so, yes, we have worked on these skills as we move along. of course, we continue to hone our combat skills, but we find in today's world we're not going to deliver security exclusively from the barrel of a gun. >> gail smith, you spent 20 years traveling and reporting from africa and elsewhere around the world. and from conflicts -- complex conflicts because the world has become a naughtier and more complicated place only in the last 20 years. how does your field experience inform what you're doing now inside the white house? how have you seen the state of the art in bringing help to the most complicated places on earth change? >> it's changed a lot. i think very much in a positive way. i think the biggest difference between the field and headquarters, in the field you get a sense of both how long
these transitions take or how complex it is to pursue development objectives in a conflict or post-conflict setting, but also how rich and diverse it is. i think obviously when you're in washington, the pressure is on to find faster solutions, and so there's always that kind of tension. i think the changes we've seen are in the main and understanding while development is an aspiration it's also a discipline. and i find across the administration -- i think we've seen enormous changes in a.i.d., for example, working with all agencies in the case of haiti, i think we found across the board that we were all driven by compassion and a need and an interest in responding to a disaster so close to our shores, but it was, again, driven by a discipline. in somalia, if i can provide just one more example, which, i
think, points to the change, it's even getting to the point of bringing the development discipline to relief. in that case there was a premium put on making sure that markets didn't completely collapse. even in a situation of famine. it's that kind of expertise being deployed across the spectrum that i see as a biggest -- the biggest change. that and this is a much bigger field than it was when i started. >> yemen is a place still struggling to form a coherent and working civil society. is it tough not only to stand that up, but also to speak to your own people in a way that gets you where you need to go, but also is not weighted down with who's helping you? there's a high degree of suspicion in yemen about the
outside world and help is not seen as an unambivalent good like help is good and no help is bad. but who you work for, who's helping you, who your contacts are in the outside world is also pretty complicated. >> yeah. i mean it's challenging to do development in yemen, particularly in conflict areas. but surprisingly i have been working in tribal areas for the past eight years. and surprisingly people have no issues of who helped them. u.s.a. imt dmt is very credible in tribal areas in yemen. usaid has done a lot of great work in terms of providing support to improve health, education, services in these areas. one of the things that was repeatedly mentioned by the locals that we work with that was found very, very helpful is that usaid funded and helped the
training of midwives. so in that sense we don't really face a lot of problems. we have been branding usaid profiles in our area, but sometimes we have to keep a lowe profile, but it hasn't really been a major issue for us. >> really, because i'm told, and recently, there was a fascinating front line special on television here about a network of invisible lines drawn across the map of yemen where when you cross them, suddenly who's in charge, what they want, what they want to happen locally is very, very different. >> absolutely. we work across a lot of sensitivities, tribal sensitivities political sensitivities, cultural sensitivities, you have as an organization we spend a lot of time building --
understanding the context, mapping actors, building relationships at the beginning. and after we build the relationships, we also have continued to maintain these relationships even after we finished our projects. we work in almost 40 districts in the most complex areas in yemen. tribal areas. and so i mean you connect with the people. you create that relationship. i will come back to what president of malawi said earlier. you have to create that kind of love relationship with the locals. and i personally have been in a love affair with the tribes for the past eight years, and it's been great experience for me. and my -- my lesson learned is that you have to spend -- you have to spend time to get to know the local context, to know the people, to know the actors, to sort of navigate your ground,
and you have to be transparent with these people. >> love is probably a four- letter word that maybe doesn't come up in many of your trainings that often. maybe one that we should be thinking about. johanna, there is a widespread perception that billions of dollars gets spent in bringing relief to conflict zones with very little to show for it at the end, with very little in return. can you give us examples where the international community has successfully intervened in a way that leaves everybody better off at the end of the process? >> well, if only we had the billions of dollars that we really needed to do this, and i won't comment on that. but i do think there are many success stories. let me bring up the case of colombia, which was a partnership. i know that jim was very active with this when he was the commander because we learned many lessons which we applied in that case. we understood local partnerships
insecurity and development. extremely important. we understood the concept of local ownership and we used it. we helped on the military side building up the security forces in a way which made them professional and responsible, but on the development side, we also listened to what local needs were. we listened to those people who were the victims of the insurgency, who were the victims of the cocoa growers. we began to understand the nexus and security and development that brought the u.s. agency for international development close to both the defense and the diplomacy needs that were needed to end that conflict. the other point which i think is a big success, and, yes, sbenlt a lot of money. until the wars in iraq and afghanistan, colombia was the third largest recipient of u.s. foreign assistance, but we had great success on another level.
we also had the involvement of the government, of colombia itself and a commitment by the citizens recognizing this was a shared need. that combination basically has set a template for working in other areas of the world. so, yes, i think we can talk very highly about this relationship that created doctrine, created partnerships, and is now being used in other areas. >> yeah. if i could just add a point to that. in 1991 a book was written about colombia called the saddest country by a canadian diplomat. and you could look at the metrics in colombia ten to 15 years ago and then look at the metrics today and really the improvement's extraordinary. if i could, i would add another i think, international success, although still a work in progress, ray, and that's the balkans. if you think about the balkans 10 to 15 years ago, they were on fire.
in a place called srebrenica. 100,000 people killed. a million people pushed across borders. chaos, really spreading across the region, extraordinarily difficult situation. it's not perfect today, but slovenia, croatia are members of nato. albania are members of nato. macedonia has been an action plan to move forward. we see a tense but stable situation in kosovo. bosnia is complex with try-government structure. people are not resorting to violence to sort out problems, that's the big change in the balkans. i would argue that's probably another area of the world where we see development successfully moving us forward. >> but you know the need for these kinds of interventions is often accompanied by conflict on the ground. conflict creates the humanitarian disasters rather
than the other way around. and maybe you could contrast, gayle, doing this kind of work in countries where, as johanna points out, the colombian government was on-site and trying to help, and other places in the world where people who are in control of the territory, people who control the water works, people who control the electric grid, don't want the people coming with the help to succeed. >> i think we've got a lot of those situations and a lot of cases where, as a result, they're very dangerous operating environments. but i think what we've seen -- and it goes back to the point about yemen, and i like your point on love because i think it factors in there as well. i think we found that even in those most complex environments there are ways for skilled people who listen and who talk to people where they are and not where they think they should be, to identify those leaders who may not be the warlord, may not even be the head of state, but may be the community leader, the doctor, the midwife, through whom you can work.
i think the challenge we face is in those cases where that is a chronic situation ongoing. i mean we're dealing with a long-standing humanitarian crisis in south sudan. even with independence, we're very, very far from being out of the woods. somalia, obviously, is a case where, with no government, and the circumstances we face there, there's an overreliance on humanitarian assistance. but even there, the international community was able to assist somalis such that it went from conditions of famine to conditions still of food insecurity but not the acute famine that we saw. that's because really smart people, including a lot of local people -- this isn't all the experts and the relief workers that come from outside -- find ways to get through the cracks. >> nadwa talked about building local trust.
and, admiral, some of the organizations whose logos you showed in your slide have talked to me about how difficult it is to have a historic or actual corporate identification with one side or another in a conflict. >> yep. >> all they want to do is help people. >> right. >> but they are perceived by people in the middle of the conflict as having roots in a certain country, in a certain history. they can perhaps build down that identity. the united states navy, not so easy. you can build down the american identification of the military, yet you're the guys with the machines and the stuff to make some of this happen right away. how do you walk that line? >> well, it's a wonderful question. and the first thing i would say is that we in the military need to go into activity like this
with a real sense of how can we help, how can we support, and we need to listen to our development experts who say, you know, probably not a good idea to have that particular type of equipment here. better you come in light and do this. take the advice of the development experts. secondly, i mentioned in my presentation, we're working very hard to -- as a military to learn more about culture and language. in afghanistan, as an example, we've created a program called the afghan/pakistan hands program, which is simply to say, people who will study the languages, study the history, study the culture, and, therefore, have a better chance of functioning more capability in that milieu. thirdly, we need to be sensitive to the development agencies when they absolutely don't want to work with us for one reason or another, and we need to be accepting of that if it's a point of real division. there are some international organizations, i'm sure represented here, who simply say, nope, we will not get